Intel Confirms Support for Smart Access Memory in Arc Series

Intel began the launch of its highly anticipated Arc discrete desktop graphics cards, starting with the entry-level A380 a few weeks ago. The first cards will be aimed at the Chinese market for now, but global sales are expected to begin in the coming months.

The chip maker has also released a system requirements guide, as Arc GPUs are new products that system builders aren’t familiar with. In the guidelines, Intel said that for “optimal” performance with Arc, the PCIe Resizable BAR (Re-Size BAR) feature must be enabled. In addition, Re-Size BAR support has been confirmed on Intel platforms.

The tech giant had hinted in its manual that it would support AMD’s Re-Size BAR implementation, also called Smart Access Memory (SAM):

Additional platforms/motherboards with Resizable BAR / Smart Access Memory enabled may also support Intel Arc A-Series graphics.

Intel later made a statement and confirmed that Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology is supported on Arc graphics cards. This means that AMD Ryzen platforms will be on an equal playing field with their Intel counterparts. So much so that it is not possible to use Smart Access Memory on every AMD platform. For this you need a minimum of a Ryzen 3000 series processor (excluding 3000 G series APUs) and a 500 series AM4 motherboard.

A week ago, we saw some tests on the AMD platform with the Arc A380 graphics card. The AMD processor system performed much lower than the Intel-based system. We actually linked the situation with SAM support, which seems to be the problem. Arc is still very new on the market and everything will be clearer soon.

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